On Nov. 18, Steven Van Zandt, who has a long history of being an activist as well as a musician, used his Twitter account, @StevieVanZandt, to draw attention to an environmental issue. He wrote:
Marriott Hotels have a new policy of serving room service in plastic containers. This is a terrible idea for at least 4 reasons: Plastic is a worldwide environmental problem; Economically it is idiotic; The negative imaging removes all class and dignity from the hotel chain. The concept, which is to minimize human interaction (!) is mindless and counterproductive at best. And totally unnecessary since the employees I met were wonderful people. This needs an organized protest.
This was followed, Nov. 21, by a press release stating that Van Zandt and Jackson Browne have joined Plastic Pollution Coalition in calling for a boycott of all Marriott International-owned hotels.
“The last thing we need right now is more plastic waste,” Van Zandt said in the press release. “There is no longer any excuse — if there ever was — for businesses to sacrifice environmental responsibility for profit. The two are no longer mutually exclusive — if they ever were — and any attempt to present the false choice of one over the other is a lie.”
Browne said, in the same press release: “We each have it in our power to support businesses that take care not to further degrade our environment, and to bring that considerable consumer power to bear in the fight for a sustainable future. I’m happy to answer Stevie Van Zandt’s call for this boycott. I spend much of my year in hotel rooms, and it is absolutely my choice not to stay where they serve food in plastic.”
I have contacted Marriott’s spokesperson, asking for a comment about this. I have not heard back yet but will add the response here, if I get one.
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